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RheumThoughts: An Opportunity to Say Yes

This is RheumThoughts.

Hi, I am Dr. Kathryn Dao, a rheumatologist and senior editor for the RheumNow Women in Rheumatology Campaign. I wanted to share you with my an opportunity.  An Opportunity to Say Yes.

I have said the phrase, “Thank you for the opportunity” many times at an invited lecture, dinner, research collaboration. I believe I would not be where I am had it not been for people who believed in me, who promoted me, who gave me the opportunities. 

Often, I am asked why I get to do all the fun stuff in rheumatology like blogging, traveling, meeting and interviewing interesting people, and collaborating in cool projects. How do I get those opportunities? Why am I involved in so many things? The answer: It’s because I say, “Yes!”

I have seen people get mentored to death but have no advocates or opportunities. I have also seen people who are given opportunities but remain stagnant because they declined them.

One of the many lessons my dad taught me was do your best to help people unless it is illegal, immoral or hurtful. Inconvenience is not an excuse.

By saying yes to help others, this creates opportunity. Opportunities arise when people need help.  Will you give a lecture? Answering yes will help someone fill the schedule and get your name out there while you educate the masses. When you perform well, then others will seek you out. Will you see this complex patient? Answering yes, may lead you to learn more about a disease or disease process. I was asked recently to see a patient whom all other rheumatologists had declined. It turns out she has Kimura's disease. Something I never heard of, but learned about quickly. I shared with others what I learned and now I am the go to person for Kimura's in the Dallas rheumatology community. Another request I encountered recently was from Dr. Jack Cush, "Will you run this Women in Rheumatology campaign?" I said Yes- so here I am. Also, this campaign would not be possible without our invited faculty saying, "Yes!"

Sometimes opportunities do not declare themselves as such. They may seem to be “chores”, “just another thing to do”, or “inconvenient”, but many times, the small thing you say yes to, will lead to bigger things. In the words of Thomas Edison, "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." 

This is Dr Kathryn Dao, thank you for tuning in to Women in Rheumatology month.


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Kathryn Dao, MD, FACP, FACR, is a rheumatologist and Senior Medical Director, Aurinia Pharmaceuticals, passionate about advocating for patients and furthering the field of rheumatology. She is founder and president of Rheum101. Viewpoints and opinions are her own. Follow her on twitter @KDAO2011